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3D Images, Swipe-Up Image Navigation, and High-Res Images Coming to Google Image Search

Google I/O 2019 brought a ton of announcements last week, some of which may have slipped under your radar, including some cool news about Google Image Search.

3D images got a bunch of attention in Google’s I/O keynote with the news that the company is bringing 3D objects into search results. This ties in with their news about augmented reality (AR) features, as Google will let you place, view, and interact with 3D objects in your own space.

Basically, if you search an animal (for example), one of the image search results will be a 3D model. You can then view the model and manipulate it in AR on a mobile device. Google’s demo used a shark model swimming in the air in a backyard.

Another cool new feature: Google’s testing a way to navigate from an image search result, swiping up to see the AMP pages associated with that image.

Finally, there’s a high-resolution image opt-in program coming soon that will let websites submit high-quality images to image search. Google’s I/O slide mentions that they “want to let websites showcase that great content,” so finding ways to get great images out there makes sense.

Why Does Image Search Matter?

Back in March of 2019, Google’s Gary Illyes’ keynote at PubCon hinted at how important images are to Google.

Illyes said, “We don’t do image recognition on every image, even though we’d like to, so put descriptive text around images.”

He also mentioned using structured data and meta data with images to help Google index them better.

Images are another great way to support SEO efforts, but it’s important to put in the right effort and take the right approach.